Hope you’re having a wonderful Sunday morning/afternoon! God blessed us with an incredible day yesterday and some wonderful experiences.
First off, my brother, his girlfriend and I were up before the sun. We decided to be volunteers for the Brazen Summer Breeze race in San Leandro. Not only that, but Michael and Libby were going to be running their first 5K’s!
Waking up at 4:30 am on a Saturday is something I’m quite accustomed to now. Michael did an awesome job, considering he never wakes up at such insane hours.
These two manned the merchandise booths with Jan. They did a great job!
While Mike and Libby did their 5K’s, I did the half. This was the half where I would keep it easy YET not TOO easy, haha. I wanted to stick to 75-85% effort throughout. It would be a tune-up race to see how slow/fast I am, and for what kind of realistic goals I can set for my all-time favorite must-race-every-year race… the SJ RNR Half (it was my first half ever, and it is still my favorite distance).
The results were kind of mind-blowing.
So I did 2 hours of volunteering, a half-mile warm-up, and then I was off for the race.
The weather was pretty great for a race. Cool, overcast (no sun in the face= no hat/sunglasses needed!), and breezy. Luckily, the wind wasn’t gusty. It was pretty constant throughout.
The course is pancake-flat, but more than half of it was on gravel. Poopers. I hate running on gravel. It was also an out-and-back course, so you can see friends and other runners coming back from the turn around.
The shoes? My Mizuno Wave Sayonara. I wanted to use this half to see if I would be okay running with those shoes for this distance. Turned out to be quite alright!
Anywho, my mile splits for miles 1 through 7 (if you care, HAHA): 8:22, 7:53, 7:58, 7:53, 7:54, 8:00, 7:55.
I brought the ipod shuffle with me, and did not use them until the end of the race when things got boring. I believe music is great for giving extra energy and crap, but I also think if I listen to them from the beginning, the power of the boost is kind of worn off.
Oh, yeah. But the ipod shuffle somehow got caught on the half marathon turn around sign. Good thing a wonderful volunteer sprung into action and set me free. Probably cost me like 5 whole seconds.
Anyways, here are the splits from miles 8 to 13 (the course was short by 0.15): 7:51, 7:39, 7:40, 7:48, 7:41, 7:15.
Not sure if you can tell, but I ran NEGATIVE SPLITS, BABY! WOOOOOO! (Negative splits are when you run the second half of the race faster than the first. Most people do the opposite where they are fast in the beginning and then fall apart at the end… like I do in pretty much all of my full marathons, haha).
The fuel throughout the race? Water and two electrolyte drinks. I may only have needed one though. My effort in the first half of the race did not feel like race-pace.
So the official result: 1:41:30. That is almost 30 seconds faster than my PR from last year’s SJ RNR (so this can be considered a PR, but it will have to come with an asterisk… because the course was 12.95 miles-ish).
What I took away from this race… I have become physically faster and stronger. Mentally? I did not know I was capable of this. I still do not have confidence in myself! Well, this race kind of helped to amp up my confidence for RNR.
Perhaps I’ll walk around with an incredibly annoying swagger now… because you know… I’m all that.
Anyways, my fellow Running Addicts did an amazing job on the race! (Photo cred to Gilbert!):
And this was Libby’s first race ever! She said, “I feel like I can conquer the world!”:
^(BTW, see the earbuds near my armpit/shoulder? That’s how I ran the race for the first ten miles).
I’m so glad that Michael and Libby enjoyed the entire race experience. They said they actually really like volunteering (each of them did 4 hours, plus their 5K!). We’ll all be back for a volunteer-race day again 🙂
Day had only just begun. After the race, I made my way over to Campbell Community Center where our church was playing in a big volleyball tournament:
They won 3/4 games, and I was so impressed by how they were all jumping and diving for the ball for several hours in the sun. They must have been pooped after it was all over.
And I was also jealous because I’m too big for someone to swing me in the air like this:
On some side-notes, I think having a pretty good rest week from retreat helped with my race. I actually ended up running about 5 miles with a fellow camper who is addicted to running. We woke up at like 5:45 am to run. That was Tuesday.
And then on Thursday, I drove mister Joseph to take his bar exam. In the down time when he was taking the exam, I went for a run. Did you know there is a sweet bike path super close to the Santa Clara Convention Center?
9.0 miles in 1:14:50 (8:18 pace). I love exploring new running paths… but I run it slowly and with no music… just in case I need to make a run for it.
That night, when Joe was done, we ate at Smoking Pig. I got the Pulled Pork Sammie and Joe got the pick-3 plate:
^This sammy was HUGE and surprisingly… I ate the whole thing, hahaha. Initially, I set a third of the meat on the side, saying it was too much. I was acting like a lady. And then I ended up demolishing it all… like the beast that I am. It was sooo good!
Joe super duper loved the ribs (though you can’t really tell from this picture, hehe):
We finished off with PEANUT BUTTER PIE:
^Possibly my new favorite pie. If you don’t know, I am freaking obsessed with PB.
Friday was a 5.25 mile hike with Jane at Rancho San Antonio!
And then we met up with Addie and ate at an Indian buffet (TURMERIC). Perhaps all that naan and rice and curry was what gave me extra energy to run the half with ease? Or I’m just saying that so I can pig out on Indian food before a race (which may not sound like the best idea for some folks).
MY GOODNESS, sorry for such a lengthy post.
Long story short… start doing track workouts, hill repeats, and trail running… and tempo, except I don’t do those much, haha [DISCLAIMER: I’m not a certified trainer. Consult your physician before taking on new workouts]. I’m pretty sure those three were the magic factors that helped me improve my running!
Have a blessed Sunday!
Anyone who raced this weekend?
Do you regularly volunteer at races?